With the Korean server of Blade & Soul getting its major Unreal Engine 4 update later this month, publisher Tencent Games recently made a few announcements regarding this highly-anticipated upgrade for the China server. There is no confirmed date now, but Blade & Soul China is expected to receive the Unreal Engine 4 update in the first half of 2020, though it will start off with a “vanguard” test server initially. The team at NCsoft also prepared a Q&A for the Chinese gamers, and here are some of the more interesting ones.
Q: Will the upgrade from Unreal Engine 3 to 4 increase the minimum requirements to play Blade & Soul?
The team is working on optimizing Blade & Soul from Unreal Engine 3 to 4 based on the goal of not having to increase the system requirements to play the game. We also optimized the game to make use of system capabilities which were not possible before. PC with higher and better specifications will run Blade & Soul much better.
Q: With Unreal Engine 4, games can now have a seamless world without loading maps. Will the upgraded Blade & Soul have this feature as well?
Q: How will combat change with this update?
We plan to tweak some repeated skills and decrease the difficulty of controls for everyone. We also intend to strengthen non-target skills and the dodge function. Finally, we are working on adding a new combat element where players have to observe enemies’ movements and dodge as a counter-measure.
Q: Any significant changes to the equipment system? Such as new upgrade functions.
In order to make PVE more interesting, we are looking to improve the equipment system. We are planning to add open world PVP, ranking, karma system (good/evil), and more. New features regarding growth will be added in future updates.
Q: Will there be more bosses added to the PVE open world?
Yes, we will be adding more bosses to the PVE open world. Other than the open world PVP, we are also discussing about a system where all players who take part will be rewarded. (I am guessing something similar to the open world party in Guild Wars 2.)
Q: Will there be new characters and stories added with the update?
Although they are not arriving with the Unreal Engine 4 update, players can expect new characters to make their debuts and story campaigns in future updates.
Q: Will there be any new casual features?
There will not be any in the Unreal Engine 4 update, but more casual and entertaining features will be added in the future.
Q: What about a mount system? In an early CG trailer, we did see the Lyn race riding on a deer.
We are in the midst of planning the mount system, but we do not have a specific timeline for the feature to be added. Once in the game, players will most probably see that Lyn scene come true.
Q: Will there be changes to the flying system? How about wings?
From now, the flying system will always be changing and developing. There are indeed plans for some new changes to be made for the flying system.
Q: Will Blade & Soul see a new day/night and weather change system after the Unreal Engine 4 update?
During the game’s initial development, the team did not include this as part of the core content. While there will be day/night and weather changes, currently these do not affect normal gameplay. If there is enough feedback from the community, the team will consider working on this new feature.